Our first day in Vilnius and Phil spotted this Ice Cream shop - he was in 'like a rat up a drain pipe' - Hmmmm, and I thought I was keen to try new ice cream venues!!
There was quite a selection of flavours to choose from, mainly described in Lithuanian. Well we had ample time to choose as the American gentleman in front of us wasn't in a hurry - he sampled a few flavours before deciding which to have.
I'd spotted a brightly 'berry' coloured ice cream - the assistant (who spoke excellent English) described it as cranberry with chocolate pieces! Mmmmmmm - Health Food :-)
Now to decide which cone - there were 3 varieties - one being 'home made' biscuit, which we opted for - in hind-sight perhaps I'd have preferred one of the lighter versions.
We'd hesitated over deciding whether to go for 1 or 2 scoops , but settled for 1 - pheeew! The scoop was quite big.
Initially I really enjoyed this ice cream, but towards the end, I was feeling a bit full and overpowered by the sweetness of the ice cream and the claggy 'biscuit' texture.
Besides cornets, you can choose tubs or pre-packed ice creams etc.
Probably not the cheapest ice cream in Vilnius, but good for a treat!
Seating inside. We noticed that cushions were provided outside for the deep windowsill.
This company was formed in 1950, producing 'Premium ice cream' using natural products and fresh cream and milk.
There are many branches through Vilnius and other Lithuanian cities. A kiosk opened at Vilnius airport recently.
Dione FaceBook Page
The small brewery pub is probably not the easiest place to find, which is probably why I liked visiting the place. It is in a quiet area away from the Cathedral Square, Town Hall Square, Pilies street or Gedimino avenue, so it tends to be frequented by "locals". Busi Trecias means "you will be third" which harbours back to soviet times when a bottle of vodka costed 3 roubles. When two guys wanted not to get drunk but just "merrie" they would wait for a third person to share the vodka or beer. So the idea of not just drinking but sharing & meeting people is a good description of "Busi Trecias" in Vilnius. As well as drinking rooms inside, there is a lovely garden for alfresco drinking & eating. The beer, light & dark beers, beers with fruits are brewed in the cellars beneath the pub.
Favorite Dish: The weather was hot, the beer was cool & refreshing (I had the light beer) and I also had a "Lithuanian" salad which also contained "pulses" as well as lettuce etc. In Lithuania I found I didn't often have to visit the bar, the waiter(ess) came to me. The staff at Busi Trecias were very good & friendly.
Coffee Inn is a chain of Lithuanian coffee shops in the mould of starbucks. I was told they did good coffee and sandwiches, but when I dropped into the one at Gedimino 9, I discovered no sandwiches. But I did find some really nice bruschetta, a wide pleasant terrace, and, of course, pretty decent coffee.
I don't know if it was the food or the day, but I had a perfect evening at Da Antonio's. Sitting outside with good food and wine on a warm summer's evening listening the peeling bells of the Cathedral while children played in the pavement fountains was sublime. I'm not sure if the food made the day or the day made the food, or if it was a mix of both, but I had a wonderful time. I can't imagine any other night would be less than good.
Note: There are three Da Antonio's in Vilnius, but I only visited the one on Cathedral Square.
Judging by the reviews written in French that I saw, the Baltic chain restaurant La Crepe is an abomination. For me it was a decent place to grab an afternoon snack, and the quality and price were not at all shocking. As long as you don't go there expecting French cuisine, and instead expect crepes and pancakes that are a few notches up from McDonald's, you won't be disappointed.
Here in Vilnius the service was very good and the location on Gediminas Avenue was perfect.
Favorite Dish: Potato pancakes.
There seems to be a war of words between the owner of Sue's Indian Raja, the impressively named Wing Commander Rajinder Chaudhary, and what I can only assume are rival restaurants out to smear him. On every review site I read multiple bizarre, and sometimes nasty, complaints, rebutted by an indignant Wing Commander Rajinder Chaudhary. There were fanciful reviews both attacking and defending the restaurant.
The truth I experienced was actually very pleasant. I ordered a simple lentil dhal, a dish that is easy to mess up and difficult to get right, and it tasted fantastic. It was easily one of the best Indian dishes I've had in continental Europe. The service was ok, perhaps a little strange. The waiter was overly defensive, and thought I was questioning the quality of local beer, when I intended no offense at all. Somewhere inside I could see the famous Wing Commander Rajinder Chaudhary moving between tables and entertaining the guests. It felt a shame he didn't come outside.
And perhaps, in the reviews, that might be where the genuine discrepancy in quality comes in. Some of the fair reviews that were not wholly complimentary seemed to complain mostly of consistency: That sometimes the food was amazing, and other times quite ordinary. One reviewer posited that it was only when Wing Commander Rajinder Chaudhary was about did the kitchen meet with expectations, and when he was away they slacked off.
I don't know the whole truth, only mine, which was a great, if not perfect, experience. But I think the unusually cloudy sky put the biggest damper on my mood.
The restaurant has great concept - fast, but tasty, fresh and healthy italian food. Atmosphere is outstanding, it is not just exceptional design I liked so much, but also service structure - restaurant has an open kitchen and food is prepared in front of the eyes of the guests. The mood in the restaurant is italian, because chefs are really informal and communicative, you can share your requests directly.
Moreover, I can say that food quality impressed me as I am a great fan of italian cuisine, I can tell that pizzas and pastas is just like in Italy, because all the food here is prepared only according to authentic recipes.
Favorite Dish: I am a pizza lover, so it is really hard for me to choose from 20 pizzas they offer, but my favorite one is Pesto con spinachi. It is so fresh and has my favorite ingredients: mozzarella, spinachi and basil sauce.
I certainly didn't mind having TWO microbreweries within easy walking distance of my hotel. :)
Prie Katedros is a more upscale microbrewery, featuring fancier (and more expensive) fare than the average pub. It also has a lovely interior, with rich wood furniture (and even some leather chairs!), shiny brewing kettles, and a pristine bar all on display. This could also be why it's popular with tour groups. The food itself is outstanding (if pricey), and service is very friendly. The place also features its own selection of beers brewed on the premises, which is seldom a bad thing.
Favorite Dish: I really enjoyed the boar sausage. It was fresh and artfully presented, though a bit on the expensive side by Vilnius standards.
As I was exploring the Cathedral grounds, the skies opened up, so I decided to make a break for the nearest place to have lunch. Zoe's is a hip, artistic place with plentiful music and a surprising variety of food. It's also a popular lunch destination for well-dressed workers at the Bank of Lithuania, which made me feel a bit like a drowned rat as I sat down. Service was friendly and the food was very good.
Favorite Dish: I had the Thai-style chicken soup with green curry and vegetables, and washed it down with a nice cup of jasmine tea. It really hit the spot on a cold, rainy day.
There's an old saying: "It never rains inside the pub." Since it was rather rainy a good bit of the time I was there, it certainly was enjoyable to have this place only a few blocks from my hotel. Būsi Trečias, meaining "you'll be the third" in Lithuanian (see the website for the story behind the name), is a family-run place known for good quality, reasonably priced, home-cooked dishes. More importantly, it is known for brewing its own beer in the basement, feeding the freshly-made product directly from barrel to tap to glass.
Your choice of seating ranges from a bar and simple tables on the ground floor, to (slightly) more formal dining tables on the second floor, to the benches and tables of a covered beer garden in the courtyard. If the weather is nice, go for the beer garden. Otherwise, I think it's most fun to head right to the bar. Glance at the computer behind the bar and examine the fun "wallpaper" on the computer screen while waiting for your order. Then, look around you and see if there's anyone you might want to start a conversation with. You could even get to see the owner sitting at the bar, reading the paper, and enjoying a glass of his own black beer.
Favorite Dish: Food is inexpensive, filling, and of good quality. I especially liked the pork ribs.
The beer is fresh and of excellent quality. While the more conventional lager is very good, the locals' (and my) favorite is the superb black beer.